Identity Check

Who are you?  

Not who do you pretend to be, but who are you really?  What type of person are you now, and does it differ from the type of person you want to be?

I’ve had that conversation with myself a few times in my life.  It wasn’t always like that though.  Back in high school, I was a “dumb kid.”  I knew it. I told myself that I was, and my horrible grades, lack of educational accomplishments, and frequent trips to the student counselor reaffirmed it.

2079118961_08150e7b12You see, with three months left of my senior year of schooling, I was on course to spending another year walking those dreaded halls and graduating with the junior grade below me.  Somehow, I pulled it together and received my diploma on time with the lowest GPA with which a student can graduate.

Since college wasn’t in my sights, military service came calling.  Talk about a serious wake-up call.

The military excels at taking immature young adults and turning them into respectable men and women very quickly.  Now matter how dumb you may think you are, using, “But, sir, I’m not very smart,” as an excuse to your superior officer as to why you can’t complete a task is just not going to fly.

So a mental attitude adjustment was going to be the only thing that kept me out of trouble.  And that’s exactly what happened.

A few years after my military service ended, I started dreaming of college.  The fear of being a “dumb kid” started to awaken again inside of me.  I began having doubts as I filled out the college registration paperwork.

How was I going to be successful in college at the age of twenty-seven when I could barely pass high school eleven years earlier?

And this time I had a wife, kid, and a mortgage!

This time around, however, I decided to make a change in my identity.  I looked in the mirror the day before college started, and I said, “Seth, you are smart.  You will be successful.”

And you know what? I was!



Four years later I graduated from CSU Fullerton as one of only two students to achieve Summa Cum Laude with a 3.97 GPA, the highest GPA in my class of over 400 students.  Now, I’m not putting that out there to impress you. I do it to show you how drastically my results changed once I changed my identity.

Before I took any test, I would tell myself out loud, “Seth, you are a great test taker.  You know your material, so there is no reason for you to not pass it with an A.”  I went from taking beginning algebra three times in high school to passing every math class in college with an A.

You know why?  Because I believed that I could.  It was who I was.  It was my identity.

If I sat down to take a test and told myself, “Seth, you are a horrible test taker. Let’s just hope for a passing grade,” then that’s exactly what would have happened.  I truly believed that I was a smart and competent student, so what other option did my mind have but to behave as such?

If you believe that you are the type of person who makes bad food choices and has no self-control in tempting environments, then that’s who you are.  That is your identity.

You hold the power to change your identity and be the type of person you want to be.

If you want to lose some weight, then tell yourself, “I am the type of person who moves every day.”  Don’t just mutter the words.  Say it with confidence.  Believe in it 100% and your subconscious decisions will start to reflect your identity.

Want to make great food choices?  Tell yourself, “I’m someone who enjoys healthy food and makes great choices!” Once you decide to adopt the identity of the person you want to be, then the world will open up for you like never before.

You are awesome.  I know it.  You know it.  So start believing it!

Live Life Strong,


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author: Iron Seth


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